Well, download my VFX tutorial series, and you can make KICK ASS dynamic explosions without plugins easily
There's really no "BETTER" 3d app, it just depends what you want to do.
I'll have the final composite of my explosion movie uploaded for public viewing in the next few days, so download that when I get it online, and I think that will wow him
Israel "Izzy" Long
Motion and Title Design for Broadcast-Film-DS